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By : BGA Proshop
After 2,702 days or a 7 year drought on the PGA Tour Michael Thompson is a champion again winning the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.
Through that period Thompson lived on the edge on the PGA Tour, seemingly to always constantly battle to maintain his card but a 15 foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole gave him a 2 shot victory.
He has now earned himself job security through the 2022-23 season and is in the FedEx Cup Playoff mix as well.
“Oh, man, it’s job security for two more years, it’s benefits of the sponsors that I have, and it gives me the confidence to know that I can compete on the biggest stage in the world in this game and that I can do it again,” Thompson said. “To have the opportunities to play in some of the bigger tournaments, to finish the year and put myself in a chance to make Atlanta (for the Tour Championship), I’ve never been in a better position, I think, than right now on the PGA Tour. Man, I am champing at the bit to go prove myself again really.”
Thompson started the day as the overnight leader but tripped on the 3rd hole with a bogey. That was his only blemish for the day as he went on to birdie the 5th to gain back the share of the lead and again birdied the 6th to take the outright lead.
Adam Long the runner up had a share of the lead multiple times during the day. After almost missing the cut with an opening 68 and 72 on Friday, Long got himself into gear and shot a 63 on the Saturday and 64 on the Sunday in a remarkable turnaround but fell just short.
In the end, it was Thompson who won the tournament with his final 3 holes. At the drivable par 4 16th which was only 302 yards, he drove his ball into the greenside trap on the left of the green. With the field mostly making birdies, he knew he had to do the same and with a 36-yard bunker shot rolled his ball to within 3 feet and made birdie. On the par 3 17th hole he hit the green in regulation and made a solid 2 putt. Then on the last, the 599-yard par 5 all he needed was par for victory but knocked his 3rd to 15 feet and holed it for a birdie.
“You can only dream of making a putt on the last hole to win a tournament,” said Thompson, who led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting at +7.275. “Definitely nice to know that I had a one-shot cushion, so I only had to two-putt, but had such a good read, it was an uphill right-to-left, exactly what any right-handed golfer wants."
“And I've been putting good all day today, so I just said -- I said to myself before I hit it, ‘Best putt of the day here, best putt of the day,’ and sure enough I hit it absolutely perfect and it went right in the middle."
“To hit those shots coming down the stretch, those last two holes are not easy,” Thompson said. “I mean, you’ve got to step up and hit a good tee shot and even the layup you’ve got to hit a good shot, and then to put myself in a position to have a 15-footer where all I have to do is lag it up there, uphill right-to-left putt, I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect scenario to finish a tournament. To see that go in was just relieving.”